Vacation 2.0: Southern California Edition - Day 3

Day 3: September 16, 2014

Today we were spending the day across the street from our hotel....Universal Studios. I've previously been to the one in Florida, but we were doing the VIP Experience today in LA.

After waking up and getting ready for the day, we took the shuttle to Universal Studios and walked straight to the entrance. We had already purchased our tickets online, so we didn't have to wait in line.
At the entrance, we walked along the 'red carpet' and there were 'photographers' taking our pictures - of course, this is LA, so everything was related to Hollywood and making you feel like a star.
We entered the VIP area and after signing in and getting our VIP badges, we went up to the dining lounge for breakfast before meeting our tour guide.

We started the tour, and the tour guide was explaining the different existing rides and new rides being built. She told us about how interesting and exciting her job was, and she was very knowledgeable about Universal Studios. That day was one of the hottest days in California, so the guide made sure we stayed hydrated.

After going on several rides, it was time for lunch. We entered the VIP dining room for a delicious lunch prepared by Universal Studios executive chef.

The best part of the VIP experience was coming up; we were going to visit the backlot of Universal Studios where the actual movie studios are located. We passed by several soundstages; some had a red light on to indicate there was something filming inside the soundstage. Our first stop was the set of  the TV show "Parenthood". We went into the soundstage and the tour guide explained to us different parts of the set. The set actually resembled a house, and we went inside to explore the different parts of the house. There was an actual living room, kitchen, staircase, bathroom and bedrooms; all in the soundstage. The inside was actually very hot because of the weather, and while filming the TV show, they turn off the AC because the sound of it can be heard while filming. We spent some time in Parenthood's set as the tour guide explained to us some interesting facts about the set.

Once we were done with the set, we got back on the shuttle to continue our journey. The stage next to us had a red light on, as they were filming a show called "Bad Judge". We continued our journey around several movie and TV shows sets, before stopping in an area that resembled several different US cities, towns and streets. To one side you can see a street that looks like it belongs in New York City, a street parallel to it looks like it belongs in a small town. We went down to explore the area and take pictures; we saw the City Hall building that was featured in Back To The Future movie, as well as the streets where several parts of the movie were filmed, along with other movies.

We passed by several movie landmarks including the motel from Bates Motel, got chased by the psycho Norman Bates, saw a crashed 747,  drove through Wisteria Lane from Desperate Housewives, we saw the amazing cars from Fast & Furious movies, streets that looked like cities in US, Europe and Mexico, experienced flash floods and an earthquake, saw a man got eaten by the shark from Jaws and got saved by King Kong to name a few of the amazing backlot attractions.

We stopped by the amazing props department, where we saw so many props that were featured in movies and TV shows. We spent some time there, looking at the different props, some of which were booked for TV shows and movies.

The tour was over after visiting the backlot, so N & I spent the rest of the afternoon at Universal Studios. We saw a live show "WaterWorld" that makes you feel you are watching an action movie and transports you into a different world, went on Despicable Me Minions ride and finally we saw the Special Effects stage show that tells you the secrets behind the special effects in movies.

Unfortunately, the park was closing at 5 that day, and there were still 3 rides on the lower level that we did not go on, but thanks to the LA Go Card that we had purchased before our trip, we get to visit Universal Studios again without purchasing a ticket.

Universal Studios Hollywood was amazing! The backlot was the most amazing experience of that day. We got to see things that not everyone can probably afford to see. I will forever remember this experience...


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